Monaco GP: Billboard of stunning model removed after distracting drivers

A billboard was removed following the 2009 Monaco GP as the drivers found it distracting.

This weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix is by far the most prestigious and historic event on the Formula 1 calendar, with it arguably being the one race which every driver would do anything to claim victory at.

The tight and twisty nature of the Circuit de Monaco means that the drivers are perhaps having to concentrate more than they do at any other venue on the calendar, with a small error typically resulting in expensive consequences.

The venue was actually forced to remove a billboard following the 2009 Monaco GP due to the drivers having been distracted, with the billboard in question having featured model Jessiqa Pace.

The billboard of Pace advertising Martini alcohol was situated above the Mirabeau Bas corner, with race winner and 2009 World Champion Jenson Button having joked that it was like “she was looking right at you”.

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“Every time you passed her, it was as though she was looking right at you,” Button admitted, as reported by the

Ferrari driver at the time Felipe Massa added: “Every time you passed into that corner you had this beautiful woman looking at you!”

The billboard never featured again; however, Pace was present at the 2017 Monaco GP, with Martini’s global brand director having joked that they “learned a few lessons” from the 2009 event.

“Bringing Jessiqa back is our way of injecting some fun and glamour into the sport and creating memorable moments for fans,” said Martini global brand director Caroline Hipperson.

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“We’ve learned a few lessons since 2009 so we hope Jessiqa reminds fans of the pure joy of racing, but from her new, less distracting location!”

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With the cars being significantly bigger now than they were in 2009, the drivers are always right on the limit, with their quite literally being no room for error.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen enters the sixth round of the 2023 season with a 14-point lead in the Drivers’ Championship over team-mate Sergio Perez, who was victorious at the Principality last season.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will be a driver to watch at his home event this weekend, with the 25-year-old looking to claim a third consecutive pole position at the legendary venue; however, it should be noted that he’s never finished the race higher than fourth.